Analysis Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1480 Words Oct 3rd, 2014 6 Pages
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian romance that is one of the first to highlight women’s roles during the period of change that comes with King Arthur’s demise. Culturally, during the time period, women had little perceived power. Women were treated well and often idolized, but they remained in a male-dominated society, where they were not respected as their own capable beings. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is heavily laced with the Knight’s “Code of Honor,” namely the idea of chivalry. During this time, the chivalric code gave men the idea that women could not achieve much, so these men needed to achieve it for them. Women in Arthurian times, as well as throughout the rest of cultural history, were seen as the downfall of men. Compared to Eve from Biblical times, women were a symbol of lust, sexuality, and temptation. It was the man’s duty to avoid those temptations and remain virtuous. This essay argues the use of this poem as a forewarning toward the danger of women to men’s honor and chivalric values. ¬
There are four women that the reader witnesses in the poem, each of varying importance. First is Queen Guinevere, who is considered to be the ideal woman. The author paints a picture: “Fair queen, without a flaw / . . . / A seemlier that once he saw, / In truth, no man could say” (81-84). It is noticed, however, that Guinevere never engages in direct conversation, but instead sits statically next to Arthur and Gawain. She is indeed respected and honored…
Open Document